When I was in elementary school I played basketball – not just the small school teams but also in plenty of camps during summer. That’s right. I had to wake up at 8 in the morning just to play basketball for four hours during my summer break. It was egregious.

Where’s Abigail? Photo by Abigail Lizotte

The worst part? I didn’t even like basketball. I never liked playing it after school, let alone during my supposed break. By third grade I had worked up enough courage to say I wanted to quit. What was I met with but the harsh reality that adults have more authority over my life than I did. While this discovery wasn’t shocking, it was upsetting. I stuck through it with the promise I wouldn’t have to play next year.

Oh, so suddenly, the next season of basketball came around and my every hope and dream was diminished. Another year I would be forced to play. Another promise that I wouldn’t need to play next year. This time I was careful to ensure that would happen. I protested more than before. My snide remarks filled every car ride to the gym and back home.

Well, as my luck goes, there was a vigorous summer season perfectly outlined on my mother’s calendar. Anguish ran through me far faster than I ever ran the court. That was it. I was not going. A plan was hatched by my sharp 10-year-old brain.

I got ready as if everything were normal and then, as everyone walked out of the house, I ran to my bedroom and hid under the bed that doubled as a storage space. Luckily I wasn’t claustrophobic, but I was certainly grossed out as I lay squished between a sleeping bag and a wall of old, almost moldy boxes. I heard everyone trudge back into the house searching for me. They yelled and got quite angry before silence fell over the house again. I assumed they had left, but I was cautious. I decided to stay under the bed until they came home from practice. Only a four-hour wait. A perfect plan to a kid with no concept of time.

But my one downfall – something no one would consider – was my mother. She had stayed home and received a very angry call from my father detailing the events of the morning. I had grown too comfortable with my apparent success and started to make a bit of noise under the bed. Long story short, I was quickly discovered and dragged to basketball practice.

I wish I could say that I learned to love basketball and discovered it was my true passion, but that would be the biggest lie of the century. I ended up having to play until middle school. Quitting basketball, however, allowed me to explore other areas of interest. Now I know that I prefer to play volleyball, and I apparently have a knack for speech and debate. It’s always good to stick through something hard, but in the end, sometimes it’s more worthwhile to quit.


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